17 April 2010

THE ART OF CONSCIOUS LIVING

Over the past few months I have felt very drawn to retreat, re-cooperate and slow down. While my mind wanted me to be out doing things, I could not seem to muster the motivation or energy. All I wanted to do was be alone and do things that nourished me. However, the tide has now turned. Suddenly I am being called to action. I have a strong doing energy now pulling at me. All I want to do is be out in the world taking action, achieving things, getting things done and creating results.



The challenge I now face is how do I live in this high energy, action focused state without losing the balance, serenity, and self care I have been cultivating?

Being vs. Doing
The Universe is governed by polarities and by contrast. We have hot and cold, fast and slow, inner and outer. It is important to learn how to balance your outward action time with inner reflection time. We must find that balance between face paced living and the need to slow down. We need to learn how to balance and integrate our being-ness to doing-ness

I think after long periods of intense doing, we are often called to come back to the simplicity of just being. On the other hand, after long periods of rest and regeneration our bodies then call us to once again wake up and get out in to the world to use the new energy that has been brought forth in us.

I have loved the quiet time I have had recently. It has allowed me to calm my mind and to refocus. I have been able to take care of my body and reconnect with my soul. I have felt nurtured, safe and comforted. While this is a lovely place to be in, it is not a long term option. I am being called to step out in to the world now, and my challenge is to bring everything I have learnt recently with me.

I think the lesson that is here to learn in this experience is how to integrate being and doing together. I tend to be an all or nothing person. I am either very inward focused and I tend to lose my desire to take any outer action at all, or I am very action focused and my whole sense of inner connection goes out the window.

At the moment, in this action phase, I sometimes feel like I am not even in my body. I am not even consciously aware of what is going on inside of me. The outward results that I need to achieve in the world take precedence over my inner state. I will do things that compromise my inner state purely to achieve that outer result. I will push myself to go to the gym even when I am tried. I will not take a break to eat lunch at work even though my body is telling me it is hungry. I will force myself to get up early and do things before I go to work even when I am tired. I will push past emotions wanting acknowledgement or my intuition which needs listening too.

So, after some quiet pondering, I think I have reached a solution. I have decided that one of the key things that will help me through this intense time, is to live more consciously

Conscious Living
To me, being conscious in life means being aware and present to everything that is going on inside and out of you. It means being conscious in a moment to moment sense of your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, intuitions, actions and your general being-ness. It is also being aware of what is going around you, what is coming in to your life and what you are doing in response to it. In this way of living there is clarity, authenticity, alignment, truth, mindfulness, calmness and a strong sense of inner power.

My concern about our world today is that we are all so disconnected from ourselves. Our minds are constantly zipping all over the place and I am sure that many of us would have no idea what thoughts actually cross our mind in a daily basis. Much of what drives us is unconscious which means that life ends up running on auto pilot. We are driven by our habits and our programming. Who we are is actually outside our control, because we are not taking the time to slow down and actually become conscious of what is happening in our heads.

Become More Conscious 

So, here are some ideas I have had about how I can become more conscious in my life. It can be easy to forget to do these things, but with the right intention it is possible. These tools can be integrated in to your daily life, to assist with a balance between inner awareness and outer action:


  • Become conscious of your breathing: Reconnect with your breath several times through the day. You may be sitting in your car, at your desk or on the bus. Remind yourself to breathe. Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to the feeling of air coming in to your body and your lungs filling up.
  • Pay attention to your eating: Be aware of the food choices you are making. When you eat, feel the sensations of chewing. You can even try counting the number of times you chew. Savour the flavour of each mouthful. Taste the individual flavours of each bite. Breathe when you eat. Notice the sensation of food in your stomach and stop eating when you feel full
  • Notice what is coming in to your life: Begin to pay attention to the way people respond to you, the types of experiences you attract to your life, and how you react to them.
  • Acknowledge your feelings: Check in with your self several times through the day, and ask yourself how you are feeling. Is there something bothering you that you are not acknowledging? Is there a niggling sadness or sense of frustration that is pulling at you? Allow yourself to feel that emotion, where it is present in your body and what thoughts arise in you when you feel it.
  • Do a body scan: Guide your mind through your body and search for discomfort or tightness. Bring your attention to any areas of physical tension. Allow yourself to feel that tension, and if possible do a little stretch or massage it to begin to help release it.
  • Listen to your body: Next time you feel sick, or have pain, or get a headache, do not just rush to get a painkiller to make it go away. Ask yourself, what is my body trying to communicate to me? Pain is the tool that your body uses to draw your attention to something you need to know.
  • Listen out for your intuition: As you pay more attention to what is going on inside you, you will have a greater connection with your intuition. Notice any gut instincts you get, or any thing that tug at you or catches your attention. When you intuition proves right, acknowledge it and notice how it was that it communicated to you.
  • Record aspects of your life: keep a spending journal or a food diary. The act of having to record your actions and bring your attention to what you are doing will play a huge role in helping you become more conscious.
  • Meditate: Take time to sit either at the end of each day or in the morning. Even if you only sit for 5 minutes it can still be beneficial. Take a moment to sit and close your eyes. Notice your breathing. Pay attention to the thoughts flowing in and out of your mind. Get present to your body and really feel it. Take 5 minutes to just sit with yourself and notice if anything comes up for you. Use this time to reconnect with yourself and to become more conscious of how you are thinking, feeling and being.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Connie, I love this post! I am constantly swinging between being and doing and am still trying to master the art of doing both simultaneously. At the moment I am very much in doing mode and I need to step back and reconnect! You blog is exactly what I needed to read! Thank you! xxx

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  2. These are all great tips! I am the same way with being an all or nothing person. I'm trying to live "the middle way." It's so cool that you are being driven to DO now and you are aware of it. It's nice to honor the wants of your being. Following my breath is probably the number one way I stay present. Being more aware of my emotions, and checking in with myself have done miracles for me as well. I love the way you put all your thoughts and information out there. It's always a joy to read your blog!

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  3. aye aye captain :)

    you have me on board this inspirational ship

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  4. I am currently in some strange funk where I have been much more withdrawn and it's not really like me. It give some hope to hear that perhaps it is just a phase.

    I'm happy to hear that you are trying to figure out who you are right now... while in your 20s.

    I'm in my late 30s and am just realizing that I'm not really sure who I am. It's a scary place to be.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

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  5. you are wise wayyyy beyond your years.... an old soul for certain.

    I was drawn to the name of your blog because of the positive tone. Very nice.

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  6. Wow, Connie! What a jewel I have stumbled upon! Your blog is absolutely amazing, inspiring, and insightful.

    Thank you so much for following my blog, I am so happy I clicked on your picture and found your blog!

    I have recently gone through an experience that has shook up my world and really helped put things in perspective. I was in such a doing mode, that I had been neglecting how I was being, and this had a negative effect on both me and my fiance - to the point where it exploded in my face and made me see loud and clear that I needed to give some attention to how I was being in my life. As a coach, you'd think I'd be attune to this - and I usually am - but I'm also human, and this time I was caught off guard.

    Thank you so much for all of your wisdom. Your tips for living a more conscious life are so great and so needed out there in the world. Thank you so much for what you're doing. I'm definitely going to create a link to your blog on my site, because I think what you have to say could be very valuable to my readers and clients!

    Lots of love,
    Jessie May

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  7. Hey Connie, have a little present waiting for you over on my blog :) http://gettingintomyworld.blogspot.com/2010/04/random-treats-and-special-surprises.html

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  8. I must say this is one of my favorite posts!! Why is it so hard to slow down and embrace the now?! I love all of your suggestions and plan on focusing on a few of them this week.. I feel as though I should sit with a notebook in my hand and read through your blog taking notes at all the wisdom you offer!

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